Charlie Austin to join Danny Ings in Anfield attack?
Liverpool (5/2 with Coral for a top four finish) are reportedly keen to muscle in on Newcastle United’s interest in QPR striker Charlie Austin, with a £15m move mooted for the marksman.
It is no secret that Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is ready to add top class attacking recruits to his roster, and it is thought the 42-year-old also tried to snare former Manchester City and Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez to Anfield, as the Argentina international looks set to depart Italian juggernauts Juventus this summer.
However, it appears as though the Merseysiders will miss out on tenacious attacker Tevez, with Atletico Madrid or a return to Boca Juniors seeming his most likely destinations, and instead turn to Hoops hitman Austin to bolster their frontline.
Austin, whose prolific performances for relegated QPR saw the striker finally given an England call-up, hit 18 for the Hoops last season, and has famously enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks from non-league football to the Three Lions squad.
Having excelled in every challenge that has been handed to him, the Hungerford-born 25-year-old is widely expected to leave Loftus Road this summer and seek pastures new at a club aiming for European football.
Should Austin arrive at Anfield, however, where would he fit in? The Reds have already captured England Under-21 dangerman Danny Ings on a bosman, though a compensation fee for the forward is yet to be agreed with Burnley.
So, with one fox in the box already recruited, and Liverpool likely to play a one striker system, it could turn into a straight scrap for game time between two of England’s most promising poachers.
Daniel Sturridge may have suffered an injury-prone campaign but will still expect to lead the line when fit, meaning last summer’s striker signing flops Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert, along with out-of-favour Fabio Borini, may not be allowed another crack of the whip.
Liverpool certainly need strength in depth up top, however, so it may not be a case of too many cooks, as the Reds seek to reclaim a top four spot, and will also have Europa League football to contend with.
Any move for Austin could also have a domino effect as, should the Magpies (5/1 to be relegated in 2015/16) fail to land the QPR predator, who has apparently been a target for some time, West Bromwich Albion attacker Saido Berahino is supposedly next on Steve McClaren’s wishlist.
Burundi-born Berahino is also angling for an England call-up after impressing with 20 strikes across all competitions for the Baggies and, having previously been linked to big-guns such as Manchester United, could spark a transfer tussle for his services.